Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inuit Rosetta Uyaraq

I've always enjoyed languages other than my own maternal English. To me they're a fascinating peek into how different cultures see and make sense of the world around us. To really understand another person means to understand their language.

Recently the Inuit of Nunavut (Our land) put legislation in place to help fortify their language and prevent it from disappearing in the modern world. The press release was put out in four different versions, one English, one French (spoken in southern Canada) and two versions of Inuktitut, one in Roman letters, the other in the syllabic script widely used in the eastern arctic. Here is the release...

Quvianaqtualuk Inuit uqausingata sappummijauninganut piqujaq (maligaq), angiqtaujuq ippassaq 10muaqtillugu unnuk, Nunavut maligaliurviani. Suuqqaimmat uqausivut kinaunittinni nalunaiqsijuq. Piqqusirijavut. Nunavummiutaunittinnik nalunaiqsijuq. Sivummuagiaqta inuit uqausinga sannginiqsauliqullugu angirrattinni, nunalittinni, pilirivittinni amma ilinniarvitiinni. Piliriqatigiiktuinnaujunnaqtugut inuit uqausinganut.

ᖁᕕᐊᓇᖅᑐᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖓᑕ ᓴᑉᐳᒻᒥᔭᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐱᖁᔭᖅ (ᒪᓕᒐᖅ), ᐊᖏᖅᑕᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᒃᐸᔅᓴᖅ 10ᒧᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᐅᓐᓄᒃ,ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᕐᕕᐊᓂ. ᓲᖅᑲᐃᒻᒪᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕗᑦ ᑭᓇᐅᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᔪᖅ. ᐱᖅᑯᓯᕆᔭᕗᑦ. ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑕᐅᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᔪᖅ. ᓯᕗᒻᒧᐊᒋᐊᖅᑕ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖓ ᓴᙱᓂᖅᓴᐅᓕᖁᓪᓗᒍ ᐊᖏᕐᕋᑦᑎᓐᓂ, ᓄᓇᓕᑦᑎᓐᓂ, ᐱᓕᕆᕕᑦᑎᓐᓂ ᐊᒻᒪᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᑏᓐᓂ. ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒌᒃᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᒍᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖓᓄᑦ.

This is an important day. The Inuit Language Protection Act was approved yesterday by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Now we can work forward to implement it in our homes, communities, workplaces and schools. Language defines us, and is an important part of our culture. It tells who we are as Nunavummiut.

La Loi sur la protection de la langue inuit a été approuvée par l’Assemblée législative du Nunavut hier soir. C’est une journée mémorable. La langue est élément important de notre identité et de notre culture. Elle nous définit comme citoyens du Nunavut. Nous pouvons désormais renforcer son utilisation dans nos maisons, nos communautés, nos milieux de travail et nos écoles.

Now how many of you can use one language to see into another using this 'Rosetta Stone' style press release?


Grace said...

Hello! I'm not a regular blogger, and I've never seen your blog before, but I'm very interested in languages, as well--especially Inuktitut. Thanks for posting this 4-way translation of the Inuit Language Act. I was excited when I learned about the language act--I believe that preserving native languages is a key in helping a culture move forward into the future while still remembering who they are and where they came from.

A question about your Inuktitut for Beginners graphic--is that actually a published book or work, or did you just design that as an example of your "Rosetta stone" below? I am trying to learn Inuktitut, but for someone who lives in the American south, let me just say that resources are slim to none down here! I'm thankful for any tips you can give me! Thanks!

-Grace Robinson

Michael said...

Hi Grace, thanks for your interest. You can take Inuktitut lesson online by going to http://tusaalanga.ca. No need to leave the sunny south to learn this interesting language!